The Actor's Life: 2 DIFF Docs Offer Cinematic Ode to Acting | 2015 Dallas International Film Festival—April 9-19
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The Actor’s Life: 2 DIFF Docs Offer Cinematic Ode to Acting

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ON SCREEN
HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY
Friday, April 10 @ Angelika 8
Saturday, April 11 @ Angelika 4
SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT
Saturday, April 11 @ Angelika 4
Sunday, April 12 @ Angelika 7

Setting aside the sexy, well-cataloged perks of the acting profession – the fame and fortune, the glamour, accolades, and Twitter followers – these two DIFF documentaries focus on the fundamentals: an actor’s craft and what it means to live the actor’s life.

Through the inspiring stories of two veteran actors, HOLBROOK/TWAIN AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY and SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT describe, in brutal and exhilarating detail, an actor’s true vocation and the dedication, sacrifice, heartbreak and euphoria that accompany it.

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HOLBROOK/TWAIN AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY
HOLBROOK/TWAIN, directed by Scott Teems, takes as its subject the enduring wit and wisdom of Mark Twain, portrayed by the prolific stage, film, and television actor Hal Holbrook.

“Mark Twain Tonight!”, a one-man play conceived by Holbrook in 1954, has captivated millions over more than five decades. Holbrook has performed the role of Twain delivering his delectable bon mots, on Broadway, in all 50 states and 20 countries, and before five U.S. presidents. HOLBROOK/TWAIN goes behind the scenes to examine the lasting appeal of America’s greatest satirist, as well as to chronicle the play’s remarkable history and celebrate the actor who – for 60 years – has given voice to Twain’s salty words.

HOLBROOK/TWAIN features interviews with Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Emile Hirsch, and many others.

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SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT
The “she” in SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT, directed by Ron Nyswaner, is 79-year-old character actor Mary Louise Wilson.

Even as a Tony Award-winning actress, Wilson can’t land a gig. Unable to find work, so eventually decides to return to her hometown in New Orleans to try something different: teaching. When she finds herself at the helm of a class full of budding actors coming of age in a culture of Reality TV, YouTube, and instant celebrity, her uncompromising insistence on the truth and honing of an actor’s craft evolves into a larger meditation on the exacting and uncertain vocation of acting itself – and, by extension, the very vicissitudes of life.

Wilson herself must come to terms with her past – a troubled childhood, a short-lived marriage, alcoholism, an up-and-down career – and confront the sacrifices she’s made to pursue her true calling. Has it all been worth it? Can she call her life successful?

SHE’S THE BEST THING IN IT Includes conversations with actresses Frances McDormand, Melissa Leo, Tyne Daly, Estelle Parsons, Charlotte Rae, and Valerie Harper, and with playwright Doug Wright.


MAJOR DONORS

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DALLAS STAR AWARDS

L.M. Kit Carson (Posthumously)
Lone Star State legend and influential writer, actor and producer Carson first gained recognition as creator of the mockumentary, DAVID HOLZMAN’s DIARY (1968), and co-wrote PARIS, TEXAS (1984).

Blythe Danner
Danner is well regarded for her roles in films such as MEET THE PARENTS and THE GREAT SANTINI. The Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated actress is alos know for her work on television shows such as Will & Grace and Huff.

John Landis
A director for more than 40 years, Landis' films include NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE (1980), THE BLUES BROTHERS (1978) and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981).

Learn more about the honorees

TEXAS AVERY AWARD
Presented by REEL FX

Phil Lord and Chris Miller
are the prolific writing and directing duo behind some of today’s most successful comedy films including, THE LEGO MOVIE, 21 & 22 JUMP STREET and CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS.

Learn more about the honorees

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